Author Interview, L.B Stimson

 

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing L.B. Stimson

Hi L.B. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

  1. When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I’ve always had an inclination towards writing since I was a child. I have an old notebook full of poems which I’ve never shared, maybe someday. I have a college degree in cultural anthropology, but I’ve spent most of my professional career in the communications field in business/education writing. After a life/career change I finally realized writing, in a close tie with photography, is what truly gives me fulfillment, so I decided to take the plunge with the launch of Redwood.

2.   What are your ambitions for your writing career?

To be honest, I hope it creates a source of steady, additional income. My goal is to entertain, even though my writing tends to naturally fall into the dark side of human behavior. I’d like to be remembered as a writer who created memorable characters, each with his or her own frailties and strengths.

3.   Which writers inspire you?

I am blessed to have met a lot of authors since starting this journey who are daily inspirations with their drive, creativity, and willingness to encourage and share ideas. I am generally inspired by writers of long ago–Flaubert, Ingalls-Wilder, Le Fanu due to the challenges they faced technologically to get books into print. I admire their commitment to seeing their art to fruition. More recently, I admire those well-known authors, who can keep churning out works, such as Stephen King and the story behind J.K. Rowling’s success–which teaches us to never give up on ourselves. Am I inspired by one-hit wonder authors? Not too sure, I’d like to envision that sort of success only with more books following to give this career longevity.

4.   So, what have you written?

My first attempt at a full-length novel was my personal story about my conversion to the Catholic faith. Storms of My Faith-How Battling Satan Brought Me to Christ started out as a blog/diary. I have posted excerpts on my web site. It is a deeply personal story and I am still toying with the idea of releasing it in full as an e-book.

5.   What are you working on at the minute?

I am currently working on an extension to Redwood. I had not initially planned for the book to continue into two or even three books, but I love the characters and I wanted to continue their journey. However, I haven’t yet coined it as a “trilogy” because if a reader picks up the second book, there are enough references to Redwood to offer insight into the second book’s plot. I have submitted a children’s early reader series to my publisher (the one cheery thing I’ve written). I am also working on a couple of other books: one is a YA story that chronicles the journey of a young girl in early 1800s who ends up with amazing, supernatural abilities. The other book involves a family caught up in lies, revenge, murder, and includes a paranormal twist.

6.   Why do you write?

One of the main reasons I write is because it clears away the imaginary stories I’ve always had clogging my mind.

7.   Where do your ideas come from?

That’s a difficult question. The story idea for Redwood was born in the wine aisle at Target. I was looking over various labels and happened to mention a recent ghost visitation to my fiancé and well, there you have it. On a more personal level though, my story ideas come from a wild imagination, my abilities to interact with the departed, and my interest in history.

8.   Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I am obsessive about creating timelines and family trees for my characters. Redwood takes place over the better part of 100 years and so to remain historically accurate when mentioning Prohibition, World War II, and even architecture and wine production, it was important to me to remain as historically accurate as possible. I get caught up in research and if I think I’ve missed a date, all writing comes to a stop until I’ve resolved the questionable date. I sketch out various plot ideas if I am not sure where the story is going. And, I do mean sketch, the only way I can process these thoughts is with a pen and paper.

9.   How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’ve definitely evolved when it comes to creating imagery. I work to make sure I “show” and do not “tell.” I think this is particularly important when creating scenes that involve ghosts. I want to make sure I respect my reader’s imagination and hopefully cause their imagination to run wild.

10.  What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

The hardest thing for me is remaining confident in my abilities to create an original, engaging, enjoyable story. The easiest thing for me is creating characters caught up in family lies.

11.  Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I must admit, since I embarked on serious writing, I have spent more time reading the past couple of years than in year’s past. One of my favorite classic books is Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert. Another book that influenced my Redwood characters is A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. Lately, I’ve been immersed in reading Sheridan Le Fanu, I absolutely love the poetic style of his ghostly writing.

12.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I feel blessed in that after two rejections from publishers for Redwood, I was offered a publishing contract with an Indie Publisher (KCL Publishing). This has been a wonderful advantage for me because while any author still has to pound the concrete and social media sites to market their work, I haven’t had to involve myself in the details of setting up the Amazon particulars for selling. That being said, I can also imagine the other side and the flexibility a self-published author retains. I enjoy having a partnership with my publisher as that extra responsibility I feel towards them for believing in my book/talents keeps me on point with writing and marketing.

13.  Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

Trust your instincts, stay true to your style, and write. Read other authors in your chosen genre, but don’t compare yourself to them. I’ve been studying the use of phrasing and descriptions by Le Fanu because I tend to write with a poetic style myself. Do not let a rejection letter send you into self-doubt, writing is an art and art is subjective.

14.  How do you relax?

Photography is my go-to creative outlet. I also spend a lot of time walking at the river bird watching, (at the ocean when possible), and you can always find me in a cemetery.

15.  What is your favourite book and why?

One of my all-time favorite books is Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson. It is the true story of Cynthia Ann Parker who was captured by Comanches as a child and went on to be the mother of Quanah Parker, a noted Comanche leader. Growing up in Idaho, I was surrounded by Native American history and this story took hold of my imagination and heart. I recently picked up the book again and noticed that the novel begins with Psalm 91, I happen to reference this exact Psalm in Redwood (coincidence)?

16.  Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

I admire the fortitude and self-reliance of Mary Ingles from James Alexander Thom’s novel Follow the River. Mary was a young mother who was kidnapped by Shawnee Indians from her settlement in Virginia (near where I now reside). I see I am getting back to another Native American theme, but I’ve always been fascinated by the history of America’s native population and the small bloodline I have to them according to my family history. Much of my family’s history takes place across the expanse of America’s Wild West and this is most-likely influencing the setting of the YA novel I mentioned–the now abandoned silver mines of Arizona.

Thanks L.B for an in depth look into your world. It has been a pleasure talking to you.

Check back soon for more interviews.

L.B’s links are below:

http://stimsonink.wix.com/stimsonink  amazon.com/author/lbstimson

Twitter: @stimsonink

https://www.facebook.com/redwoodnovel

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Author interview, Emma Slaughter

 

Welcome all.

Today I’m chuffed to be interviewing Emma Slaughter.

Hi Emma. Welcome. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name’s Emma, I’m 33 years old, so only just an adult in Hobbit years!

  1.     When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I don’t think I realised as such. I never ‘wanted to be a writer’ as in planned it, I just got a story in my head one day that refused to leave until I had written it down, and it spiralled from there.

   2.      What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’m realistic. Very few writers become successful enough to do it full time, much less have a comfortable living off of it. I’m satisfied if I reach people with my writing, no matter how few people that may be. Although the successful writer bit is always a dream, even if it is a pipe one!

  3.    Which writers inspire you?

I used to say people like Stephen King and Jo Rowling, Stephen for the sheer volume of quality work he produces, and Jo for the fact she was one of the rags to riches success stories that every fledgling writer dreams of. Now it’s those I have made friends with online – David Mccaffrey, Chris Trebault-Blay, Rob Enright, Donna Maria McCarthy – real authors who make such an effort with fellow writers. They make you feel like you are part of a community.

   4.    So, what have you written? Only one novel so far – Lonely As A Cloud – a diary from the point of view of the last human being alive, and her journey to find other survivors, interspersed with mother nature explaining why the human race had to be wiped out. I did write poetry when I was a young angsty teen but they were God awful.

   5.    What are you working on at the minute?

I’m currently editing my second book – The Ghost Lights.

    6.   Why do you write?

Because I have stories to tell. Also because it helps my anxiety and depression.

   7.    Where do your ideas come from?

Some from real life, some from noticing a gap in certain subjects (for example there are few books post-apocalyptic that have just one survivor) and some spiral from reading an unusual fact about something. For example The Ghost Lights is inspired by the lights that are left on at all times in a theatre. In reality this stemmed from the fact the lights were gas powered, so a light left on helped prevent the build-up of gas leading to explosions. The fiction was that the light was left on for the theatre’s resident ghost. Although there are no ghosts in the book!

   8.   Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

A mismatch of methods. I usually start writing from an initial idea, and then if I find it’s stalling a little I will work out a rough outline so I know where to go next.

   9.   How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’ve become more disciplined…for the most part. I’ve also learned how to look at my work objectively, and to ignore reviews. Bad or good, it’s somebody’s opinion.

  10.  What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

Easiest thing is writing when you have got into the right mind-set. In fact it’s hard to stop when the inspiration hits. The hardest thing can be the opening line.

  11.   Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read a lot! I don’t have a favourite author per se, I just go to the library every couple of weeks and pick up a dozen books.

  12.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? The main advantage about self-publishing is that you don’t have to wait for a publisher to decide whether your book is marketable, and that you have total creative control. Paradoxically this is also the negative – unless you have the money you have to rely on yourself (or possibly some nice friends) to edit, develop a cover, format the book properly and above all market it.

  13.   Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

Never stop. Even if you think your work is never going to be popular it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you touch one person with your story.

  14.  How do you relax?

I craft. Cross stitch, paper-craft, jewellery making, mixed media…you name it I do it.

  15.  What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t have one! So many books, so little time.

  16.  Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

That’s a hard one! I’ll narrow it down to two – Mr Jingles from The Green Mile purely because I’d love to do nothing but roll a spool and eat peppermint candies all day, and Peeves from Harry Potter cos he looks like he has some fun! Sorely missing from the last book I think.

Thanks Emma for a nice chat. You’ve opened my eyes to the joys of being a mouse.

Check back soon for more interviews. Here are Emma’s various links. Check her out:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-Slaughter/e/B0165V3EBE/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14246287.Emma_Slaughter

https://twitter.com/lonelyasa_cloud?lang=en

 

 

 

 

 

Coming soon. Sweet Nightmares by Zizi Cole

Moving back to her hometown, Ravensville after a ten year absence, Alexandrea Cooper starts adjusting to life at home again, when her parents are brutally murdered. The police have no suspects but suddenly Alexandrea becomes plagued by nightmares of a mysterious killer. After these nightmares start, she realizes there is more to the world than what she originally believed. She is haunted by her mother’s ghost and finds out that magic exists. When she is reunited with her high school sweetheart; Jake Morris, the nightmares begin to intensify, and attempts on Alexandrea’s life soon escalate. Are the nightmares, just nightmares? Or do they mean more? Can Alexandrea and Jake stop the killer before it’s too late? Sweet Nightmares is the first book of the DAMNED Series; a dark fantasy by debuting author Zizi Cole.

Take a look at Zizi Cole (@zizicole): https://twitter.com/zizicole?s=09
https://www.facebook.com/authorzizicole/

Author Interview, Chris Botragyi

 

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Chris Botragyi

Hi Chris. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi Phil,

I’m Chris Botragyi, 42 and author of nasty horror novel Blurred Vision. Originally from Frinton in Essex, I now live in Southend. I’m studying an English degree, and currently volunteer as an English LSA at an alternative school for children not in mainstream schooling.

1.      When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I had always liked creative writing when I was young, but it was around 15 years ago that I began writing properly. Poetry was a good way of expressing life that was very dark for me at times. It was my way of expelling my personal demons so to speak.

2.     What are your ambitions for your writing career?

As writers we all want success; but while that’s nice, for me it’s about the prestige more, the recognition.

3.     Which writers inspire you?

I’m a big fan of Anne Rice and her Vampire Chronicles. The richness of her writing is nothing short of amazing. The perniciousness of her characters and their lives is sublime.

4.     So, what have you written? 

As well as Blurred Vision, I’m a 23 time multi-published poet whose work has appeared in a variety of anthologies over the years. I have had a few certificates of commendation to boot! I used to write film reviews for Colchester Circle Online Magazine too, which I really enjoyed.

5.     What are you working on at the minute?

At the moment I’m only working on promoting BV, which in itself is time consuming. I have a few unfinished projects that may see the light of day, but for now it’s BV all the way!

6.     Why do you write?

I write to free myself of burdens. As weird as that sounds, it’s a therapeutic way to rid my mind of all the bizarre thoughts and things that pollute my mind on a daily basis!

7.    Where do your ideas come from?

From the darkest recesses of my mind. As clichéd as that is, it’s true. My upside down life has given me a plethora of material with which to utilise for works; whether that’s characterisation or horrific experiences, life is there, and ongoing.

8.     Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I have a rough idea of what I’m looking for and how I want things to go. But we know that never always goes to plan. Plots change, characters get removed or added, so I tend to finally get the story down and go through chopping and hacking until the rough version is done.

9.     How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

As said, life offers you a multitude of experiences with which to work with. I find that with this, and feedback/reviews, it helps me to broaden my scope within my writing – be even more ambitious and ‘out there’.

10.   What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

Easiest? That’s got to be the ideas and writing the story. But editing… That I hate! I edited BV 12 times before a professional editor got their hands on it. Then a proofreader and more line edits ensued until I felt we were all happy with it.

11.    Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I try to read when I can. Anne Rice is a favourite, as is Brett Easton Ellis and Homer. But I’m always finding one off books that I love.

12.   What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

As I’m published by BNBS, I have no experience of self-publishing. However, there are definitely advantages to being self-published these days. It’s cheap and easy to do. The downside is that many assume that writing a book means just what it is. Unfortunately many don’t understand that you need editors, proofreaders and plenty of time to promote and build up potential readers/followers. But that being said, I know authors who have followed the self-publishing route/rules and have been very successful?

 13.      Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

 Yes. See question 12! Don’t fall into the trap of a halfhearted attempt at writing and self-publishing. If you’re going to do it, do it right; it’s an all or nothing situation. The more hard work you put in, the more you’ll get out of the experience. 

14.    How do you relax?

 Relax…what does that mean? Joking aside, I find solace in flaking out on the sofa or at the cinema watching an awesome movie.

15.    What is your favourite book and why?

 Tough question. Love American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis as well as Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice. Big favourite though is Jumper by Stephen Gould, that’s a superb read!

 

16.   Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

 I think that would have to be Lestat De Lioncourt from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. He is a constant thorn in the side who will push each and every boundary possible to gain experiences old and new! Great character.

Thanks for a great chat Chris. Nice mug by the way.

Check back soon for another author interview. You can find Chris’s links below:

 Twitter Take a look at Chris Botragyi (@ChrisBotragyi): https://twitter.com/ChrisBotragyi?s=09

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/chrissyb41/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Chrissyb66

Cover Reveal, The Turning

Coming soon. The Turning.

Synopsis: 

He had escaped the horrors of the last few months, starting a new life, with his new family.
His life was returning to normal, scars healing. Until they found him, taking his loved ones back through the doorway.
To their world. To their horrors.
Now Jake must follow, hoping it’s not too late.
Will he reach them in time?
Before they are turned against him.

Pre-Order Links:

Coming Soon

April 4th. Official release day for Unknown….

All the links are below. I hope that if you read Unknown, it captures your imagination. Coming soon, The Turning…

 

Description

It happens every year. A select few disappear, never to return.

From The Falkland Islands to the Himalayas, Puerto Rico to England – humans are vanishing without a trace or explanation.

A young man, who’s lost everything, stumbles across an ancient secret.

Can he unlock the mystery?

Will he find those who need him?

Can he escape the Unknown?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1207956096

http://bit.ly/2lJZmcD

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unknown-phil-price/1123083570;jsessionid=7D7848F00451ECC966661DBE6F99C5DD.prodny_store02-atgap06?ean=2940154244104